Not unexpectedly, we have regular requests and enquiries from the USA with regards to our SUP boards. The performance merits, the designs and overall appeal and interest for our boards and of the Mistral brand, remains as strong as ever. Considering the range of product available in the USA, that Mistral still creates interest is reassuring, given that we are not officially there, but read on, as there is indeed now a portal to Mistral board ownership in the USA.
There is no doubt, contemporary SUP sport was born and evolved out of the Hawaiian Islands and quickly spread to mainland USA where it incubated for a number of years until exploding into a huge going concern, fuelled by entrepreneurs investing in this new, easy, equipment sparse, sport for everyone. Ultimately, it was only a matter of time before the major players within board sports ramped-up their investment and interest.
Historically, some of the evolutionary processes of SUP mirror image that of the evolution of Windsurfing, accepting the irony here is that the major brand names quick to jump onto the SUP wagon, were of course Windsurfing brands, searching for a bolt on water sport to add to their inventory. Ironically, rather like Windsurfing, once SUP sport leapt across the pond to Europe, the gloves were off in terms of research and development amongst the big brand names that pushed the sport in all manner of direction and design together with their riders.
Mistral’s Windsurfing history within the Hawaiian Islands is well documented, as it is in throughout mainland USA. In the context of Mistral SUP USA, there was a brief time of establishment in Florida where the main thrust of sales were made, but overall, Mistral SUP has not been omnipresent through mainland USA and as it stands, though it may be the largest market in the world, due to the rush of interest by private individuals in venture capital start up companies and the flood of boards from major brands, the USA is grossly over-stocked with old stock and price wars.
The USA still remains the largest market in the world and it is far from unimportant to us, but we recognise at this stage of the sports growth and development, Mistral’s place within the USA market is perhaps more ‘Specialist’ than mainstream; a stand alone brand which sets the bar high and relies on a number of points of difference to attract the paddler truly seeking something different, even bespoke.
Lee Bergman, living in Cortez, Colorado USA, a paddler now for over 50 years has taken the initiative to invest and make some of our more exotic hard boards available to paddlers of the USA. With his vast experience, Lee has recognised the market need for unique boards to cater for paddlers looking for something different, special and unique and we are pleased to be working with him to achieve this. To this end he has identified our 17’6 Interceptor and Stealth boards as the best boards on the market for the end user searching for such a high performance craft, together with the Vanquish 14’, Vortex SD1 14’ and Equinox 14’. We salute Lee for establishing this Mistral USA Outpost, situated in one of America’s most beautiful locations and invite our fellow paddler of America, to Contact Lee with any enquiries you may have relating to these fantastic boards or any other of our products.